Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Late B'day

A week ago was my birthday and having been busy, busy, busy I didn't even think of squeezing out a blog. It was a quiet day and BBdaughter took me out to supper with her "significant other" (hereafter named BBbf = BB beau fils). We all went to a steak house called "Houston's" (I'm sure geewit that it's not in the same league as a steak house in Houston) The steak and wine were good and the company even better. They gave me a Fossil watch that has an animated Atari game as the watch face. Really nice, it brings back memories. The last time I had seen BBbf and BBdaughter I had admired his Fossil Matrix watch, so they found me one.
I bought myself a new car radio for my b'day, not that the old one had ceased functioning but I needed a radio where I could plug my iPod. I had one of those radio things, but the airwaves are so saturated here in Montreal that it is next to useless. So I finally bought a good radio and plugged in my iPod... BB music, all the time with no interruptions... yesss.
And last but not least, Mrs BB said that she would split the cost of a 70-300 mm zoom lens for my camera. The said lens having just arrived a couple of minutes ago by courier. I love taking pictures and the lens was something I had wanted for a while, so since we are going to Ireland this summer, I decided that now was the time to get it. (Income tax refunds are so much fun to spend)
So that was my B'day week in a nutshell. This b'day is a special, I was born in 1954 and this year I turned 54, so maybe it'll be a lucky year. ;o)

Monday, April 28, 2008


I haven't had much time to blog these last few weeks, since things have been rather hectic. On top of it all I caught a "man's cold" from the kids at school. I don't get them them often but when I do, I hate colds... (see Josie's blog about them...). So I'll post a couple of pictures I took the other day. The West Island is the western most part of the island of Montréal but what many people don't realize is that a good part of it is still rural. There are even working farms. Even in the suburbs themselves there are still the remnants that we call the villages and that is what they are, the remnants of the original villages that were there before the encroachment of the city. I'll try to get more pictures to document each of them when I have the time.
So here are a couple of pictures taken in the more rural aspects of my corner of the island of Montréal. The truck and garage/barn are taken on Senneville road on the way to Ste-Anne de Bellevue and the sunsets on the shore of Lac des Deux Montagnes.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

History burns

Last week end, the Manège Militaire, a big part of Québec's military history burned to the ground. This building built in 1885 was designed by Eugène-Étienne Taché, the architect that designed Québec's parliament buildings. It was one of the city's most beautiful historic buildings, and in a city that was named a world heritage site that's saying a lot. Will it be rebuilt in all it's glory, only time will tell.
I hadn't thought about it in years, but watching it burn on television brought back many memories. I started my military career there as a private in the 58th Battery of the 6ième Régiment d'Artillerie de Campagne and finished it there as captain and commanding officer of the same unit. (We were housed in the square tower on the right of the 2nd photo) The 6ième Régiment is a militia unit and was a family tradition. My great-grandfather had been its Regimental Sergent-Major. I also met Mrs. BB there, when she was one of the first women officers to join a combat unit. (I always did like women in combats.:o)
Not only did Québec lose an important part of her heritage, but many of us who served in units based there, have lost a big part of our past.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Air Canada, got to love 'em

Air Canada announced a new program called On My Way today. This program will fix things for you if ever you are delayed by flight, traffic or weather-related delays beyond its control. Here is what is posted on the Air Canada web site.
"One call gives you around-the-clock access to a dedicated group of specially trained Air Canada customer service agents who will rebook the first available flight, on Air Canada or another airline," and "arrange complimentary hotel accommodations, car rental or other ground transportation and meals," if necessary. All of this for an extra $50 (round trip) for flights of less that 1000 km and $70 (round trip) for flights over 1000 km.
Michael Janigan of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre in Ottawa isn't impressed. "It's part and parcel of a continuing effort to try and make the service extended to you when you buy a ticket less and less. The expectation would be that if you paid for a flight, you'd be rebooked on the next available flight. I'm hesitant to figure what's next with the airlines. Maybe washroom privileges (for a fee)? We'll have to wait and see."
Makes you wonder what will happen to the poor schmucks who will dare not to pay the extra fee, will they end up stranded in the airport like the man who has been living in the Charles de Gaulle airport for many years. Seems to me that the service they now want us to pay for should be a normal service in case of delays and imponderables. When there are flight delays like the ones we had here not long ago because of the snow storm, will the people who paid jump to the head for the line ahead of everyone else, leaving everyone else waiting that much longer?
To say the least I am not impressed, who else but an airline could get away with something like that? Much like when the airlines quote a price, then when you come to pay, hike it up because of the fuel supplement, airport tax etc... Hey buy my ticket to Vancouver, it's only $300... ooops forgot to tell you there is a $200 fuel supplement and $100 airport tax.